Scotland’s Dementia Awards

Celebrating World Alzheimer Scotland Day


Scotland’s Dementia Awards in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland, NHS Health Scotland and Scottish Social Services Council; in celebration of World Alzheimer’s Day, provided an opportunity for professionals and communities, who are committed to enhancing the health, wellbeing and experience of people living with dementia and their families, to have their work recognised and promoted.  The award scheme helps showcase the creativity, innovation and dedication that make a real difference to the daily lives of people living with dementia and their families. There are six categories, over 90 applicants and in this blog post we are sharing the films and details of our 6 winners.  Although do take the time to have a look at all the finalists here and remember the Scottish Dementia awards entries for 2016 will open, sign up to our e-newsletter to stay up-to-date.

  1. Best Educational Initiative

Edinburgh Dementia Training Partnership

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The Edinburgh Training Partnership comprises representatives from NHS Lothian, City of

Edinburgh Council and independent sectors. Its remit, informed by the National Dementia

Strategies, is to provide good quality training primarily within care settings, which improves the experience of people with dementia, their families and carers, and the staff who support

them. Another key objective is to deliver a sustainable training programme using a train-the trainer model and linking participants with the SSSC Dementia Ambassadors Network. We use the Promoting Excellence resources as a framework, but bolster the programme by making use of a variety of additional ideas and materials which reflect best practice.

Jackie Sloan, Learning and Development Advisor, City of Edinburgh Council,

Telephone: 0131 529 6478, Email:

  1. Best Acute Care Initiative

Knowing Me, Knowing You

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Using storytelling and visual arts in this acute setting, our innovative pilot created a

welcoming and equal space. Here, skilful facilitation by the Village Storytelling Centre brought together patients and carers alongside a multi-disciplinary group of nurses, occupational therapists, Chaplain and Volunteer Services to delight in discovering each other’s stories. Around the table, we shared cake and stories and created multi-sensory art on each week’s theme. Sessions were highly responsive to individual need and population change. Held by a loose structure and adapted in the moment, each stood alone while building towards the co-creation of a personal journal.

Doreen Mall, Occupational Therapist, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Telephone: 0141 211 3657, Email:

  1. Best Innovation in Continuing Care

Namaste Care Team East Ward, Dykebar Hospital

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Namaste means to “honour the spirit within” and is a special way of caring for patients with

advanced dementia. The programme supports the philosophy of person-centred care and

offers people with advanced dementia the opportunity to engage with others by therapeutic touch and sensory stimulation. Comfort is a large part of the process and each patient has items that are personal to them and provides pleasure, comfort and stimulates memory. Each session consists of a variety of sensory interventions with the choice being determined by the needs of the patient and informed through life story books, staff and carer’s knowledge.

Maria Banks, Senior Charge Nurse, Dykebar Hospital, Telephone: 0141 314 4060,


  1. Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative

Lanarkshire Mosque & Muslim Community Project

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Our Motherwell Dementia Friendly Community Pilot (2012) highlighted a range of inequalities within our BME Communities. The largest group in North Lanarkshire is the Pakistani/ Muslim Community. Our Muslim community realise the challenges in reducing stigma around dementia and want to support future generations of women family carers. Collectively we acknowledge years of marginalisation of Muslims in society and wish to build trust and breakdown barriers between communities and service planners/providers. The Lanarkshire Mosque and Muslim Community project is an emerging movement for change with a strong sense of ownership, open to working in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland, Princess Royal Trust Lanarkshire Carers Centre and other multiagency partners.

Gabriela Mitas, Community Activity Organiser, Alzheimer Scotland, Telephone: 01698275300


  1. Best Community Support Initiative

‘Fit for Life’

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‘Fit for Life’ is an NHS community-based exercise group for older people living with dementia, depression or anxiety, which aims to improve balance, mobility, fitness and confidence in clients who are often socially isolated, have poor balance or who have low levels of physical functioning. Through the support of physiotherapists and volunteers, clients attend a 12 week programme of specific exercises and tai chi. Fit for Life has helped people with dementia become more physically active; re-establish a sense of personal control and provide greater involvement in the community. It can be seen as a benchmark in person-centred care and integrated working with third sector agencies.

Jackie Hodge, Physiotherapist, NHS Lothian, Telephone: 0131 537 6606


  1. Most Innovative Partnership

Arky’s Resident Nail Bar

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Since August 2013, our pupils have established and built upon links with staff and residents of Renfrew Care Home. Fortnightly visits ensure regular contact where not only residents can enjoy friendships, love and chat, but our pupils too. Life skills which cannot be taught in the classroom environment, naturally blossom through our partnership. These visits are both ways; the residents look forward to attending tea dances, singalongs, open afternoons and annual events. We have also widened our pupils’ skills through working closely with Salon Services for hand massage and nail painting which the residents thoroughly enjoy. This stimulates talk.

Laura Thomson, Primary Teacher, Arkleston Primary School, Telephone: 0781 7869598,


Life time achievement – Nancy McAdam

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In addition, Nancy McAdam was recognised with the event’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, Nancy and another person with dementia became the founder members of the Inverness Dementia Memory Group – the first Highland Involvement Group of People with a diagnosis of dementia. Since 2005, Nancy has volunteered on local and national awareness-raising, campaigning and service improvement – including speaking at and taking part in conferences and volunteering for local and national media opportunities on dementia issues.



Everyone’s a Winner

Scotland’s Dementia Awards

On Thursday 25th September 2015, in celebration of World Alzheimer’s Day, six winners of Scotland Dementia Awards were announced.  The Awards are a partnership between Alzheimer Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland, NHS Health Scotland and Scottish Social Services Council. They provide an opportunity for professionals and communities, who are committed to enhancing the health, well being and experience of people with dementia and their families, to have their work recognised and promoted.  The award scheme helps showcase the creativity, innovation and dedication that make a real difference to the daily lives of people with dementia and their families. It aims to demonstrate clearly how, across Scotland, policy is being sustainably put into best shared practice. All the work of the six winners can be viewed following this link.

Celebrating Allied Health Professional

This blog is celebrating and sharing that out of the six winners two were led by allied health professionals in the categories of Best Community Initiative and Best Acute Care Initiative

Best Community Initiative

Occupational Therapy Home Based Memory Rehabilitation Programme, NHS Dumfries & Galloway

The Home Based Memory Rehabilitation Programme (HBMR) is an evidence-based occupational therapy, early intervention programme for people with dementia.  The aim of this programme is to help people with dementia to compensate for memory difficulties that affect their everyday function, resulting in reduced demands on caregivers/family/friends. Based on the work of Mary McGrath (McGrath & Passmore, 2009), this 4-6 week individualised programme has been tailored and piloted in NHS Dumfries & Galloway.  Positive findings include an increase in number of memory strategies used and a decrease in number of memory problems reported.  Overall, participants have reported feelings of increased control. The work is captured in this two minute clip.

“I felt hopeful, the way she talked and explained things, I thought that if I can do this programme then I’m doing alright”

To find out more contact Emma Coutts (second from the left), Occupational Therapist. Tel: 07825401333 Email:


Best Acute Care Initiative

“Pocket Ideas….for a moment in time”, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Pocket Ideas…for a moment in time is a project that was initiated in a rehabilitation ward for older people.  Staff recognised a lack of stimulation and created an activity team which then proposed the idea of a “Pocket Ideas” toolkit.  The pocket-sized book is a portable, easy-to-use toolkit which prompts discussion and encourages activity through a selection of quick activities, conversation starters, pictures, inspirational quotes and games.  It takes no extra time for staff to use the toolkit and it has promoted increased self-esteem, reduced risk of low mood and has empowered people with dementia to achieve their own personalised goals. The work is captured in this two minute clip

“We talked, laughed and remembered things”

To find out more contact: Andrea Boyd, occupational therapist, Tel:  01294 323041 email: twitter : @AndreaBoydahpmh

..and the winners are:

We would like to leave you with two things to comment on in this blog or reflect on:

  • How can we share AHP evidence based “award winning” practice enabling more people living with dementia to have access to these programmes of work?
  • What other work is there that could be award winning?

To find out more about Scotlands dementia awards email